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asutfin
(@asutfin)
Active Member

Thank you in advance for your time. My husband, 3 young children and myself will be moving to St. Thomas mid October. I am wondering, to those who have transplanted to the island, how do the children adjust? We will likely place them in Antillies the start of next year, and they may experience public school for a few months. We are an ordinary family. My children have no predjudices, so being a minority wont be an issue, they love everyone who is kind. We are VERY happy where we are here, but the Marriott needs my husband there, so here we come!
Is crime REALLY that bad, or is it just something you learn to avoid? Do you feel safe? Can the kids play outside while parents are in the house, or is it best to only let them out front to play while carefully supervised?
Our children are 11, 7 and 6.

Thank You SO Much,
Allison

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Topic starter Posted : September 13, 2011 2:38 pm
stjohnjulie
(@stjohnjulie)
Trusted Member

Wish I could help out with your questions. I live on St. John, which is quite different from St. Thomas. And I have a 10 year old son, but he was born here 🙂

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Posted : September 14, 2011 8:52 am
VentoGT
(@VentoGT)
Advanced Member

Good Day Allison!

I can't chime in for children as I don't have them, but "yards" are not common here at all...grass is mostly relegated to the West side of the island, while most places are houses perched on rocky terrain. Is your husband coming to work for Marriott Frenchman's Reef? I know they are doing a lot of hiring now...

Best of luck, and wish I could be of more assistance! Antilles is a great school, with many of the students going on to high end Colleges and Universities in the states--several of my friends are teachers there and it seems like a nice institution. With respect to crime, I have not witnessed too much of it, though it is here...be on your guard and don't put yourself in positions where you shouldn't and you should be fine.

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Posted : September 15, 2011 4:34 pm
teetersbaseball
(@teetersbaseball)
Active Member

We just relocated to St Thomas from San Diego, CA at the beginning of August. We have four children and they all attend Antilles. We actually live in Estate Bakkero which is just up the hill from the Marriott. So far, things are great! The kids just started school and so far they love it. We have an almost 3 year old in the toddler program, an almost 5 year old in the pre-k, a 7 year old in 2nd grade and a 9 year old in 4th grade. There is a very strong sense of community in the school, classes are very small and the teachers so far seem to very dedicated and very creative!!!! We are very pleased. We came from a public school in San Diego that we were and still are very attached to.

My kids love it! The Marriott has great beaches, especially for the kids. Morningstar is one of the beaches that a lot of the kids go to to skimboard. They are adjusting well, the mosquitos are a bit pesky, but over time are becoming a little less annoying. Life here is very outdoors, lots of adventure and fun for them.

As far as crime, I cannot comment too much since I have only been here for a short while. I will say that when I am out and about around the island I do feel safe. I will not stop where I don't, but I would say that about anywhere I am. Common sense.

I would be more than happy to answer any questions you have. I am still trying to figure it all out myself. The one thing I will say is that so far I am very happy with the move. I love the way of life here. I love that when you are driving people stop to let you in. I also like the way people greet you and want to be greeted. I really enjoy being here with the kids. It is a great adventure.

Feel free to private message me. Good luck!

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Posted : September 16, 2011 4:35 pm
noOne
(@noOne)
Trusted Member

I strongly suggest Antilles. My brother and I moved to the island when I was 11 and my brother was 8, and we both fit right in to Antilles with no problems. I have many fond memories of moving from the end of winter in New England to STT in early March, and the 3-4 months of becoming part of Antilles before summer vacation. The quality of education at Antilles is very good, and the facilities are nicely laid out. Probably the biggest problem I had with Antilles is that there is no lunch program, which meant my father had to make us sandwiches for lunch every morning.

One thing that I think makes going to Antilles easier to fit in, is that they have a high turn over of students - not many make it from K to 12 there. New faces just are not as big of a deal as they are in the public high school stateside.

Edit: Oh yeah forgot to add that Antilles has a very racially/ethnically diversified student body, and I experienced just a little racism going there.

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Posted : September 18, 2011 3:49 pm
Lowry_tx
(@Lowry_tx)
Active Member

We arrived 8/7 and we were very lucky to find a house with a year and fence on our PMV. Kids are going to Antilles and yes, we feel safe.

We work, we pick up the kids and we go home, so we aren't really traipsing around all night. I have gone out several times to run errands at night and I do not feel unsafe. Carry yourself with confidence and teach your kids the same. People everywhere usually prey on people who look like victims.

Good Luck!

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Posted : September 20, 2011 3:30 pm
BeachcomberStt
(@BeachcomberStt)
Trusted Member

All the money spent on education at Antilles, one would think they would have a lunch program.
Anyone know about other private schools, if they have lunch programs?

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Posted : September 20, 2011 5:10 pm
noOne
(@noOne)
Trusted Member

All Saints has a full cafeteria.

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Posted : September 21, 2011 2:53 pm
shdoug
(@shdoug)
Advanced Member

I can't speak for STT, but STX is no place to raise kids unless you're a mom at home and can get them in an on-line program like Laurel Springs. Or if you're wealthy and don't need to work. Bringing my family to the islands was one of the worst decisions I've ever made in my life. We could never have seen this coming. It seemed so beautiful at first, now just a daily nightmare I hope we can wake up from some day back on sweet, clean, well-lit, air conditioned American soil. 300% increase in cost of living and for what? An ocean view? It's SO not worth it.

Anyway, enjoy and best of luck to you and yours.

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Posted : September 22, 2011 1:16 am
East Ender
(@east-ender)
Expert

shdoug: I hope you will expound on your post. Newbies need to hear your story.

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Posted : September 23, 2011 1:14 am
shdoug
(@shdoug)
Advanced Member

I don't know where to start. If you're single or retired and love lying on the beach sipping Rum and Coke, come on down! If you have kids and come here with the clothes on your back planning to start a new life, beware. My wife and I make 6 figures together, both working full time, and can barely make ends meet. Haven't been to the beach in over a year.

If you like living in an old, small, dark and dingy, outdated place and paying 2 grand a month, you might be alright here. Anything with 2 bedrooms that you would consider in a safe area starts at $2000 per month, thanks to the oil refinery's housing allowance driving the rental market. And you will want A/C throughout the house, which is rare. Otherwise everything gets nasty with all the humidity. I never stop sweating except when I'm home paying $700 per month for my A/C. A nice, modern house starts around $500,000 with a pool and a view. No pool or view and you might be able to get it for $400,000. I could live in a mansion for that price where I used to live.

Food is a minumum of double the cost of most states. It can be up to triple depending where you shop. And I hope you're not attached to name brands. Electricity is 6 times the cost of most states, currently heading for 48 cents per kilowatt. That's not a misprint. 48 CENTS! So if you pay $200 per month in Iowa you'll pay $1120 per month here. Private school is about that much per child also. Car insurance runs us about $3000 per year. A new car will cost you $8000-$12000 more than stateside for the same car. Water (not for drinking) is about 5 cents per gallon, so figure around $220 a month if it doesn't rain. Drinking water is 60 cents per gallon if you do it yourself, or $5.50 for 5 gallons delivered.

Somewhere on this website it says to assume about 30% more cost of living. That's categorically B.S. The only thing not expensive here is rum, cigarettes, and propane. Even gas is higher now and it used to be cheaper than stateside.

So it's pricey, and basically a ghetto with an ocean view if I'm being totally honest. Lots of poverty here, all over. There's not like a "nice" vs. "run-down" area though many areas are really bad. The ghetto homes with 30 year old junk vehicles filling the front yards are scattered throughout almost all of the island. And there's no ordinance against it. You can pretty much do whatever you like with your house and yard no matter how trashy it looks.

Just being brutally honest. I know some of you will want to tell me I'm being negative, etc. Whatever. This is how it seems to me after living here for a while.

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Posted : September 25, 2011 4:18 pm
speee1dy
(@speee1dy)
Expert

the only thing i am going to say is about the car insurance. i bought a new car here and my insurance for full coverage is nothing like the above poster mentioned. might have been 1200.00 the first year. and it goes down each year due to the aging of the car.

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Posted : September 25, 2011 5:29 pm
Linda J
(@Linda_J)
Expert

I am old and retired, but I live in a lovely 2 bedroom, 2 bath home in the Northshore Area, with a long south shore view, and pay $1,000 per month. We don't have a/c and our WAPA runs about 150 a month.

Everybody has a different experience. Strongly suggest you come down before the move and look around.

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Posted : September 25, 2011 7:41 pm
InnAtPelicanHeights
(@InnAtPelicanHeights)
Advanced Member

shdoug.

The wife and I are mid - late 40s, semi retired. Our income in the states was a combined six figures, now with live on considerable less on St Croix.

Nice 3 bedroom unit, ocean view. Food and other cost, we adjusted and live on the exact same budget we did in the states. Pay less for gasoline in the big picture, we travel less and are SMART gas users, ie if I know I am going to visit my step - dad in Fredriksted, I shop at Plaza on the way back on the items the prices are better at Plaza than Pueblo or Food Town. Need gas and the prices are cheaper near Sunny Island, we will stop at Kmart or Cost U Less for the items we buy at those stores.

Our electric bill runs around $125-$150 a month, less than it was a year ago even though WAPA rates up. That's possible because we do all the energy things---CFL bulbs, energy star fridge and washer----and more importantly not wasting electricity. Actual less than we paid in the states in total in a year for electricity. We save on heating over a thousand a year, and although we have energy efficient split AC units, we never use them----ceilings fans on when we are home----off when we are not, just like the WAPA web site recommends, and we save probably $30 to 40 dollars a month doing this.

You do hit on some good points which are correct, but your don't seem to network with the right people to help overcome some of the issues, ie finding a nice affordable place to live. With the income both you and the wife have, plenty of options to rent 2-3 bedrooms for $1800 to $2500. And I could understand waking up in a place you cant call home, high-lites the negative more than the positive things you see throughout the day.

If you are so unhappy, why have you stayed so long on St Croix and or continue to stay? Why do you have to hope to be back at stateside, MAKE it happen on your own.

As a single parent, 20 years ago, I didn't feel comfortable moving here. Although my parents who had already lived on St Croix for almost 5 years, insured me my main concerns; housing, food, schooling , etc.... will be taken care of. However, after living here for over 2 years now, if the same offer came like I had 20 years ago, I be a FOOL not to do it, as it would offer all the opportunity I would need and more importantly, my child would grow up in an environment I would want.

SHdoug, best of luck and hope your daily nightmare comes to an end and you land in your paradise somewhere other than St Croix.

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Posted : September 25, 2011 8:33 pm
asutfin
(@asutfin)
Active Member

I absolutely appreciate your honesty, thank you!!!

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Topic starter Posted : September 27, 2011 11:16 pm
shdoug
(@shdoug)
Advanced Member

That's what we were told, almost verbatim, by those who convinced us to come here: "If I had a chance to do this when I was your age, I would have been a fool not to". Interesting that they are no longer here.

Your $125/Mo is great, but with no A/C. I just can't do that. The outside air is heavy with moisture, even if there's a breeze. I can't stand the smell of outside air mixed with food, especially meat, and I don't want to hear every dog bark or bird chirp outside. I like the outside to stay outside, and the inside to be a serene, controlled environment. It's just my own preference and it shouldn't be too much to ask. Camping is great, but I don't want to do it every day. No A/C and your electronics will all fail in 2-3 years in the salt air. There's a coat of dust on everything in just 24 hours, allergies, etc. Not our preference.

One huge positive of living here is that we were both forced out of our comfort zones to learn areas of our careers that we previously had been afraid to explore. Now we can take that experience back to the states. And we will as soon as we can dig ourselves out of this hole.

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Posted : September 29, 2011 1:26 am
Linda J
(@Linda_J)
Expert

Shdoug, my sympathies. No one should live where he/she doesn't want to.

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Posted : September 29, 2011 9:45 am
aussie
(@aussie)
Trusted Member

Camping is great, but I don't want to do it every day.

HA! I haven't heard it worded quite like that but, yes, kinda like indoor camping with screens, running water, and flush toilets. 🙂

I wish I could afford to cool this place down - especially in summer. This week has been awful. BUT, I'd dearly love to keep the noise out - noisy neighbors, car horns, traffic, dogs and roosters that just never shut up except on the 6 or so days per year when we get all day rains. Heavenly! Of course, the sheets are soggy on those nights. Ah....

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Posted : September 29, 2011 1:51 pm
jewelygirl
(@jewelygirl)
Advanced Member

Go home. Why are you still here then?

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Posted : September 29, 2011 2:51 pm
aussie
(@aussie)
Trusted Member

Go home. Why are you still here then?

Other top hits by jewelygirl include:

We want you to stay away from Fredericksted and the whole USVI.

Please stay in Alaska...

PLEASE KEEP YOUR BEHIND IN CALIFORNIA!!!

Please don't come here with your elitist attitude.

Great guys - don't come. More fun and food for us.

LOL, perhaps you might consider a job in public relations when you move here 'cause you don't live here, do you?

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Posted : September 29, 2011 3:30 pm
jewelygirl
(@jewelygirl)
Advanced Member

No I don't live here but I do own property on island and am there frequently. I can post whatever I want. Just because I don't live there doesn't mean I can't have my opinions.

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Posted : September 29, 2011 3:44 pm
jewelygirl
(@jewelygirl)
Advanced Member

and here are you asinine posts:

Re: Dive Spots - Today
Arches and Tunnels off Thatch Cay. Great dive!
by aussie - General/Relocating
Re: For those with young children that relocated - Today
QuoteshdougCamping is great, but I don't want to do it every day. HA! I haven't heard it worded quite like that but, yes, kinda like indoor camping with screens, running water, and flush toilets. I wish I could afford to cool this place down - especially in summer. This week has been awful. BUT, I'd dearly love to keep the noise out - noisy neighbors, car horns, traffic, dogs and roosters
by aussie - General/Relocating
Re: Playmate wanted - 3 days ago
Greetings awesomechick99 Cute pup! My boy would love a buddy to have fun with. I'll send a PM to you.
by aussie - USVI Classifieds
Re: Playmate wanted - 5 days ago
Hmmm...I see that my dog has been using my computer again... Let me know when you're on island, Raj.
by aussie - USVI Classifieds
Playmate wanted - 6 days ago
Pudgy doggie seeks playmate. Your fenced yard or mine. West end STX.
by aussie - USVI Classifieds
Re: Irene- Sit Rep! - 5 weeks ago
QuoteSTXBob I think the worst is over. On STX, it seemed to peak around 5-6pm. Uh...yeah. I'm thinkin' probably not. All the power in this puppy is on the east and north sides. She's just starting to strut her stuff.
by aussie - General/Relocating
Re: SPANISH CLASS - 3 months ago
QuoteJazznurseLooking to become affluent in Spanish HA! Sounds good - with or without the Spanish!
by aussie - Community
Re: Gas Prices-Why in Mainland Dropping -but Still Going Up On St Croix - 4 months ago
Gas prices in the Chicago suburbs (reported as being among the highest in the nation just a few weeks ago) were at $3.86/gal yesterday.
by aussie - General/Relocating
Re: AT&T Cell Service STX - 4 months ago
Quoteprisle2010... and they too said nobody had called. The west end tower has been down since 1AM Saturday. That comes from the tech support person I spoke with at 11AM Saturday. Numerous tickets had already been written up about it. As of Monday morning, it's still down
by aussie - General/Relocating
Re: meteorite - 7 months ago
It was spectacular! It was like watching a moon burn up in our atmosphere. Truly a once in a lifetime event!
by aussie - General/Relocating
Re: What's going on with AT&T? - no service - 7 months ago
I just got off the phone with tech support. The west end tower has been down since Jan 25th. It was scheduled to be repaired on the 26th but that didn't happen. The only reason we have any service on the west end is that there is some overlap in coverage from another tower. If you're having trouble, call! The tech told me that they escalate the service ticket when a lot of people call in.
by aussie - General/Relocating
Re: More t'ings that does b'un me ass - 7 months ago
QuoteJahRustyFerrariYou would be surprised at wherein lies the disillusionment of some of our youth with the system.You'd be surprised at how deep the roots to some of the violence here goes. Please explain. I'll extend an olive branch to you, Rusty. You're obviously quite intelligent and it's apparent that you have messages that you'd like to share here. You're just going about it all wron
by aussie - General/Relocating
Re: More t'ings that does b'un me ass - 7 months ago
QuoteJahRustyFerrariThe real issue is that people like you want to pretend that St. Croix is uniquely violent when in reality our violence pales in comparison to what is happening wherever you lived before coming here. Dude, you're a real piece of work. Point out where I ever stated that. There's nothing unique about violence. It's a just matter of degree. Lemme see, the community I moved from
by aussie - General/Relocating
Re: More t'ings that does b'un me ass - 7 months ago
QuoteJahRustyFerrari....this, of course, does not mention the massive crime you "aussies" committed by wiping out almost the entire aboriginal population of "Australia"...but I guess that doesn't count as a crime, it was long ago and they were only Black/Colored people. Dude, I missed this on my first read through. If this is how you discuss things, count me out. An open an
by aussie - General/Relocating
Re: More t'ings that does b'un me ass - 7 months ago

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Posted : September 29, 2011 3:48 pm
dougtamjj
(@dougtamjj)
Expert

Asutfin, as you can tell there are many opinions and differences on this message board. Human nature I guess.

We moved here six years ago with a 2 year old. I cried for months and felt we had made a horrible mistake. Our house was a disaster, I missed my family, mosquitos were eating my baby alive, centipeds terrified me, no AC, high cost of living, I couldn't understand anyone, no one wanted to hear my complaints, food and electricity were out of the world, I was terrified of all the crime, and the heat.

After about 6 months I settled in, made the house my home, started understanding the people and gradually overcame, solved or learned to deal with all the issues. If we had not bought our home we would have left St. Croix in the first 6 months.

We are in the states now for an extended stay to deal with some family problems. We are all so homesick for St. Croix expecially my 8 year old. We cannot wait to return. Life isn't easier there. In fact I would say it is much more difficult than the states and it is so much more expensive. Life is very different there and once we adjusted, living back in the states is awful for us. We have slowed down, enjoy life, are more self reliant and don't worry about the little things as much.

We tried the two top private schools and neither are suitable for us. We have many friends however that love and do well at both of those schools and others. We have friends who send their kids to public school. Some are happy for others it has been a disaster. We homeschool and love it. We use K12 and do homestudy. My son is doing great with it.

We have had way too many friends that have left the island. They never adjusted or enjoyed life there. We have had friends who have to leave due to their jobs or loss of jobs.

The Virgin Islands are not for everyone. I love having the opportunity to raise my son there. It is a perfect fit for him.

I did extensive research before moving there and still was unprepared. I also did a few pre move visits. I still was unprepared. I have spent most of my life traveling and so I am pretty adaptable and in my opinion you need to be adaptable to live here.

Everyone has different experiences and yours will be your own. Some people manage with very little. Others need much more to survive. Having 3 children will be expensive here. What they enjoy in life and how adaptable they are will determine if they will be happy here.

I would do it all over again in a minute but I am very lucky to not depend on the local economy to survive. I have a business in the states.

I hope this helps.

Tammy

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Posted : September 29, 2011 7:52 pm
shdoug
(@shdoug)
Advanced Member

Why are we still here? First, it's the middle of the school year and we have a child in school. Second, in case you haven't heard, there is a recession going on and jobs there are hard to find. My company hired 2 guys to fill my spot when I left and my wife's company is almost out of business. Nothing's listed anywhere unless you're looking for an entry-level position or want to work at a call center so this could take a while.

But to be fair, as I said, it has been an unforgettable and unique experience and one that we don't regret. I just wish I could have gained what the island has taught me without having sacrificed so much. Also, I realize that happiness comes from within and will not magically appear by relocating. That applies to those coming and going. Wherever you go, there you are.

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Posted : September 30, 2011 2:12 am
shdoug
(@shdoug)
Advanced Member

Wow. If I traveled back and forth that would totally change my attitude about this place. Anyone would love the island if they know it's only temporary and have a nice home elsewhere. What silliness.

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Posted : September 30, 2011 2:15 am
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